Hot Docs 2014: The Writer with No Hands (2014)

Posted by Brandy Dean April 16, 2014 0 Comment 4862 views

The principle of Ocam’s Razor asserts that the simplest answer to a problem is most likely the correct one. On the other hand, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, by way of Sherlock Holmes, states that once you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Paranoids and conspiracy theorists generally tip toward the latter, not the form. But sometimes the real truth lies in the middle, in the tension between those two opposing ideas, and so it is in William Westaway’s The Writer with No Hands.

Writer Matthew Alford has spent a career examining the links between Hollywood and the military and the ways in which popular cinema is manipulated for the purposes of propaganda. He takes the more sinister view and that’s where his head is at when he begins investigating the death of screenwriter Gary DeVore. In 1997, while allegedly working on a controversial screenplay, DeVore disappeared. He was later discovered in his crashed car – without his hands.

As Alford investigates this (blatantly, really) suspicious death he encounters a colorful cast of eccentrics, frustrates his long suffering wife, and becomes increasingly paranoid about his cell phone.  The Writer with No Hands is a fascinating look at not the disappearance of DeVore but at whether a conspiracy theory is more about the conspiracy or the theorist. And of course, as with any great conspiracy theory, Alford raises far more questions about DeVore than he answers.

Screening Times for the Writer with No Hands

Scotiabank Theatre 3 Mon, Apr 28 9:45 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Tue, Apr 29 8:30 PM
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema Fri, May 2 11:15 PM

Watch The Writer with No Hands Trailer


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About Brandy Dean

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films.

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